Information for Translators

  How we work
  Receiving work
  Our pricing policy
  Getting paid
  Issuing us an invoice
  Counting words, lines or pages
  Instructions for translating over Word files
  General translating instructions

About Us and Our Philosophy

The philosophy according to which we prefer to work may be summed up in the Oxford definition of to translate: which is to express the sense of a word, sentence, speech book etc. in another language. But expressing a thought in any language is a skill in itself. A form of art one might say. Shakespeare wrote from his heart and moulded together a masterpiece using the limited tools of the English language. In the same way, when one translates Shakespeare into another language, the final product should hopefully capture the style and beauty of the original piece. A translation might also take into consideration the habits and culture of the target language. This is particularly true in marketing. Essentially, the purpose of a translation is to create a final product in another language while fulfilling the role of the original document. A translation should never feel like a translation but should capture the spirit or fulfil the function of the original. For this, we build our services on communication between us, the translator, the customer, and, if necessary, consultants and specialists. The translator knows what sounds best in his or her environment, while the customer knows what it wants to express.

  How We Work

All our translations undergo rigorous editing and proofreading. Translators are evaluated beforehand and their work is always controlled for quality. The original file may be either in the form of a document, which the translator can then type over to maintain formatting, or, as is often the case, may be sent in an image format as a multiple paged .TIFF or .PDF file. For this, you will need a program which is able to view such a file type and which you will find on our translation programs download pages.
For more detailed information of how we work, farm out projects and test translators with translation samples, read our translation management process pages.

  About receiving work:

When we get a job offer which fits your qualifications and price range, we will contact you by email inquiring of your availability. You may be asked to provide a 100 word translation sample if we have not had experience with you yet concerning that particular language combination and subject. If you have any problems understanding the text or with a translation, feel free to ask us for help. Once you do receive work from us, you will be sent more detailed instructions concerning our general quality requirements and to help you with formatting and other issues.

  Our pricing policy:

Our project managers are located in countries with relatively lower standards of living and log into our virtual office, working on different time zones so that we can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows us to charge a low and flat markup rate on top of whatever the translator charges. If a customer approaches us with a particular budget, only those translators falling within that limit will be approached for that particular work. Or if a customer demands higher or specific quality, we can send them translation samples, background information and the prices of selected translators. Click the following link for a more detailed explanation of the selection process and about general translator charges and rates.

  About receiving payment:

We generally pay around 30 days after receiving the work from you because that is generally how long it takes for us to get paid, but exceptions can be made for the translators in pressing circumstances. There are several ways we can pay you, briefly described below. For jobs larger than 2,500 words (about 10 pages of 1800 keystrokes), we are generally willing to invest as much as 7 USD to pay for the costs of transferring the money to you. For jobs smaller than this, we prefer to pay in a manner with lower payment costs, such as via, (refer below) or Billpay (wire transfer to a US bank account). Below is a list of some of the ways we can pay you. For testimonies by our translators concerning payment and cooperation with us, check out our translator references pages.

Method of payment Cost of Transfer
(we can generally pay as much as 7 USD towards the cost if the number of words is more than 2,500)
Approximate amount of time to receive money
PayPal, Moneybookers free Immediate. Make sure you study the requirements to be able to withdraw the money in cash or to your land based bank account. Both systems offer a credit card, which you can use to withdraw cash anywhere, but verifying your account with them may be a cumbersome process and only available in some countries.
Wire transfer within the US free About three banking days
Wire transfer to outside the US 7 USD About three banking days.* 15 USD or more You can set up an account with them for free, and once someone sends you money, iKobo sends you a credit card with which you can withdraw cash from almost any bank machine in the world. But there is a one time charge of around 9 USD to send the credit card to you (depends on which country, or if sent by express or regular post). You may get charged 2 to 3 USD by your local bank per cash withdrawal, and the transfers in general tend to be expensive. However, we find the system is useful in certain areas, and reliable.
US bank cheque 25 USD
administrative charge
Because of the unreliable nature of postal services in different countries and the labour intensive element of issuing and sending a cheque, not to mention that it could take 6 weeks or more for the funds to get through once you do receive and deposit the cheque, we use this method of payment only in exceptional circumstances.
Western Union NA Because of the labour intensive nature of this service (withdrawing large amounts of cash from a bank account and going to a Western Union branch), the risks involved in carrying this much cash within a metropolis, not to mention the extra costs of converting the currencies, we no longer offer this method of payment. iKobo (above) has proven a reliable alternative.
Other forms of payment we are considering but have not yet opened.
Paymate, HyperWallet free Paymate is a popular Australian payment system that has recently hit the US market and which apparently eBay plans to adopt, and HyperWallet is an inexpensive system used in North America.
* Note that, for international wire transfers, if you are in a remote country or your bank is a small one, the transfer may have to go through an intermediary bank which, although it is not supposed to, sometimes charges a fee. It is difficult to foresee this in advance and it is generally better to receive payment to a larger or globally affiliated bank.

  Issuing an Invoice

You do not need to issue us an invoice but you do need to log into your account with us at least once and fill in the Payment Form. If the payment information remains the same and you do regular work for us, you only need to write us an email when you are ready for payment. The Payment Form allows several types of payment, including two forms for payment by wire transfer. If you ever need to change the method of payment from one form to another, you only need to switch the "I prefer payment by" dropdown list marked in red and at the bottom of the form.
If this is the first time working for us and you think it might be the only, and you have a PayPal, Moneybookers or iKobo account, it is sufficient to send us the details by email, and we will copy the information next to your record in the project. But for payment by other means, and especially by wire transfer, you need to fill in the Payment Form and all the information required, as this is hooked up to our bank's website and needs to be filled in according to their specifications.
You can also log into your account with us to check out the Accounting link, which will show you all that we owe you, all jobs you performed for us in the past, and all payments we have made for you. But please note that the latest information is offline and we only upload it to this web once in a while, depending on how much work we have.

Please note that our corporate headquarters are in Beliz, Central America, so you do not need to charge taxes or VAT on top of your service, since no country charges taxes on their exports. Please double check this with your accountant. Otherwise, if you are still convinced that this is necessary, you need to state this in the beginning, or simply include it in your price quotation to us.

  Counting pages:

In Word, the number of words, characters etc. may be calculated by accessing File (when the file is open) - Properties - Statistics.

For smaller jobs we can agree on some minimal flat rate per job. As explained in the paragraph above, you do not need to issue us an invoice so we can handle all the accounting for you.
For those who are used to charging by the line or page, a page of 1800 keystrokes of 30 lines of 60 keystrokes each works out to about 250 words.

  Translating Over Top of a Word File

Sometimes you may receive an image file to translate, in which case you would create a file from scratch and type in your translation. In this case, you may ask us to send you an instruction file to help you with formatting issues in Word. However, other times you would receive a file you can open in Word to translate over top of. Below are some tips how you can effectively do this.

  • create a second file (save as) so that you have a copy of the original
  • try to maintain the formatting exactly as the original file
  • to do this, place the cursor at the beginning of a paragraph or line you want to translate, press ENTER, the the left cursor and begin translating. This should maintain the same formatting as the paragraph you are translating. Once you have translated that paragraph, you can delete the original paragraph or line you were translating.
  • in Word, if you make a mistake, you can always refer to the original, select the paragraph of which you want to copy its formatting (also select the backward P mark at the end of the paragraph), press CTRL SHIFT C, select the paragraph in the final translation file where you want to paste the formatting and press CTRL SHIFT V.
  • if there is a table of contents in the file or any fields (they should turn grey whenever you place the cursor within them), these can be update at the very end of the translation by simply selecting the entire document (CTRL A when you have the cursor in the document somewhere) and then by pressing F9.

  Tips on and Instructions for Translating

Because the philosophy of different translating agencies may differ, we would like to introduce you to our philosophy.
Our philosophy is that the final translation should not look like a translation. It should look like it was written by a professional, not translated, in his/her own language, a professional who has a good command of his/her language (excellent grammar and stylistic skills), who well understands the field he/she is "writing" in, and who well understands the concept of formatting.
Because it is difficult to find translators with all these qualifications, we have devised a support system to ensure that the translation is of the highest quality. This means, for example, that the text undergoes at least one level of editing. We also have technical consultants ready to either control the text or to help the translator with any issue or terminology he/she does not understand. Because an editor is always limited by the quality of the text he/she is working with, we always demand the highest quality from our translators (some for example feel they do not need to try very hard if they know an editor will check over their work - we do not work with such translators). If the translation is poor, an editor can improve it but the final outcome will never be as good as when an editor works on a good translation. We strive to provide the best quality possible.
We also have instructions available for those who have little knowledge of formatting.

The style of the translation should always correspond to the text. If the text is a newspaper article, then a journalistic style should be used. If the text is a business letter or some marketing material, then the appropriate style should be used.
The translation, inevitably, should have the right meaning, but should also reflect the tone of the original. Hence, if the translation is of an angry business letter demanding payment, then the final translation should express the same tone (with appropriate taste of course). It may happen though that certain points cannot be translated well considering the differing customs and cultures of the respective languages. We always strive to focus more on the language being translated into rather than the language being translated from. If you feel some major changes should be made to the text, it would be good for you to contact us so that we could consult the issue(s) with the customer.

When you translate your first draft, it is good practice to mark any uncertain areas or terminology with a character, such as "<". Marking areas totally not clear to you not only saves time, in that you need not stop and contemplate on areas you are not absolutely certain of, but it will improve the final quality of your translation in that you will be able to address these areas more closely once you have completed the translation and when you will have a clearer idea and better feel concerning the entire translation. Areas still uncertain after the second or third self-edit should be brought to our attention so that we could refer the matter to one of our specialists. If on the other hand you do not address these issues and we find severe problems with the translation, we will have it corrected by a qualified translator, at your expense.
These special markings may also be used to make comments for yourself, such as " <[change previous terminology to...] ", when you have for example decided on more appropriate terminology at some later point in a translation and hence will want to go back and change or update the previous terminology you were using once you complete the translation.
When you proofread your work, make sure everything makes sense and is consistent, closely re-examining any areas seeming out of place, and polish up your work so that it reads smoothly and is stylistically pleasant and readable.
We demand that all our translators proofread their work at least once.
When you receive work from us, you will be sent more detailed instructions to help you and concerning our quality requirements.
Or you can go to the following link for more detailed Translation Tips.
For those who may need a refreshing break from what may occasionally be boring and tedious translation work, here is an example of how we would like you to NOT translate.

If you have any other questions which were not answered on these pages, you may email us at [email protected].